It’s been a little tough for salmon on the fly this fall but things would change today. After last week’s episode on hood canal, decided to venture out to the green river and bank it while targeting chum and some leftover coho salmon.
Steep valley walls and a broad valley floor combine to create rich mosaics of plant communities that characterize the natural area. Mixed forest and deciduous upland forests cover much of the valley wall, with several forested and scrub-shrub wetlands nestled in the benches. Gallery cottonwood forests, deciduous forests, meadows (old pasture/agricultural fields), and forested, scrub-shrub, and emergent wetlands are common on the valley bottom. Native plant installation and invasive plant control enhancement efforts have occurred along with streambed restoration projects focused on improving salmonid habitat. Several of these wetlands form the headwaters of short tributaries to the Green River. The lower reaches of the wall-based streams in this area are utilized for spawning by coho and chum, and rearing by chinook, coho, chum and winter steelhead. Cutthroat trout have also been reported.
That was an expert from the King County website, I visited Metzler park which is off Green Valley Road in Auburn. A 5 minute walk down a nature trail, across a wooden foot bridge takes you to the rivers edge where I saw 8 others on the bank tossing hardware and floating jigs tipped with prawns. I decided to get away from the folks and bushwacked downstream through the overgrown blackberry bushes towards the tailors and riffles to see if I could find some holding fish.
Several firetruck coho hugged a slot and intermingled with some chum. They didn’t like any of my offerings as I tossed different flies hoping to see a bobber down. I was fishing an 8 wt rod with a dryline with indicator and small sparse patterns tied on size 4 hooks.
I decided to meet up with David K. and Ryan as they were also fishing here but using gear and banking it upstream. I watched as Ryan hooked and landed a couple of chum as well as a double with both of them. They were using jigs tipped with cured prawns under big floats. I decided to switch from a black over chartreuse to a hot pink marabou tail and move upriver of them which looked like better fly water. The move was a good idea as I hooked my first fish, nice her, photo below.
The rains came and I was determined to keep at it throwing casts and trying to get between the older fish to the fresher ones holding lanes. My indicator went down a few times and at the end of the afternoon landed 7 chums. I did also go back to my black over chartreuse as it resulted in 1 fish landed. Also used a pegged bead which accounted for 1 fish as well. I got what I was looking for, a tug, which gave me the fix I was seeking for a few hours that I had.
I was fighting a flu bug and was hoping to repeat the next day, but the congestion got the best of me and will lay low and watch the weather for a better day on the saltwater.
On a positive note, the boat is working. We re-powered with a rebuilt 150 Saltwater series Yamaha. She purrs like a kitten, sips oil and breathes fire and gets out the hole like she should. I fixed the fuel guage and also got a new thermostat on the T8. She is ready for 2015 and the remainder of the winter crab season.
Rod: Sage One 9’6″ 8 wt
Reel: Galvin T8
Line: Airflow multi with floating tip
Flies: hot pink chenille body with marabou tail on bead heads, egg patterns, black over chartreuse bead chains tied on size 4 Orvis saltwater hooks.